Guardiola hails ‘main man’ Sergio Aguero

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero drew rich plaudits from manager Pep Guardiola, after he inspired Manchester City to a 3-1 win over West Brom.

Argentina star Aguero was unable to add to his 31-goal haul this season, but was instrumental in a slick first-half display as Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne breached the visitors.

Guardiola has regularly asked Aguero to improve his all-round contribution to the City cause this season, and the top scorer lost his first-team place to Jesus earlier this year.

The forward duo started together for only the second time and Aguero’s link-up play illuminated the opening period, most notably when a deft back heel played in De Bruyne to set up Jesus’ opener.

He played a one-two with Yaya Toure for the midfielder to put the result beyond doubt in the 57th ,minute before Hal Robson-Kanu netted a late consolation.

“Gabriel was amazing, but I thought the key player in front was Sergio,” said Guardiola on Sky Sports.

“He did not score, but he made two or three assists. He played… wow, like for a long time I didn’t see.”

Third-placed City need a point at Watford to be absolutely sure of a top four spot on the final day of the season, although they also boast a better goal difference than Liverpool and Arsenal immediately below them.

However, Champions League qualification was essentially a subplot on Tuesday as the City faithful gathered to bid Pablo Zabaleta a rapturous farewell.

The two-time Premier League winner will end a celebrated nine-year association with the club at the end of the campaign and Guardiola added: “The crowd have stayed to say goodbye to a legend.

“Seeing people cry for him and what he has done… it was a perfect day, a special day for Pablo and he deserves everything.”